Heroes: Third Season Premiere

Well, it's fall again, and aside from football, there is network television. Arguably, the show with the most to prove is Heroes, since its dismal, tired, misdirectional season two nearly collapsed consumer confidence in the material. You can blame the writer's strike all you want for the show's problems, but they had eight episodes in the can before the strike even started, and let me tell you they were very slow. I mean tedious. And I won't say that everything was the fault of the Mexican heroes, but that is a good encapsulation. They whine, they run, they whine, they run, they whine... you get the picture. I was screaming at the TV for them to be killed, and quick. I don't care how "hot" Maya is, she is useless and galactically stupid, although admittedly she certainly does not have exclusivity to that trait on the show. Let's just say she is the peak of dumb. There.

So, what do they do at the beginning of Season Three? Why she's back, and teamed up with Mohinder! It doesn't take very long for her to infect him -- not with her 'terrible power', but mind-numbing daftness. In the space of a few sentences, he 'realizes' that he's been wrong all along about the gene pool -- it's really about adrenaline and now anyone can be super! I'm immediately struck by the Incredibles line -- if everyone is super, then no one is. Clearly he has not seen that movie, or thought of the ramifications of suddenly being off his rocker so bad that even Maya sees he's wrong -- for about two seconds until he gets stronger and then suddenly she's in heat -- did I mention she's my FAVORITE?Aside, does Mohinder's sudden realization that it is about adrenaline kind of invalidate all his father's genetic-based research, including the 'list' that he had which accurately found a lot of empowered folks? Does this contradict the first two seasons entirely? I will warn you now, it is best not to think hard during Heroes, for we will see more. Like Mohinder deciding to juice himself up with the super-serum and then pulling a Jeff Goldblum. I mean, is it homage or embarrassingly obvious stealing when they play out a scene almost exactly from The Fly? Or when Mohinder develops scales on his back, again, like the Fly? Rewatch Cronenberg's masterpiece for a refresher on where this is going. Thank goodness the writers are back, eh?

Okay, let's go to something good that came from something bad: the Sylar scene where he plays with Claire's brain. Creepy, informative, and funny; probably best satisfying both the audience's curiosity the characters with this great exchange:
    Claire: Are you going to eat my brain?
    Sylar: Claire, that's disgusting.
Of course, the downside to all this is the inconsistency of those with powers. I'm talking about how Claire beans him over the head, then he telekinetically flings her around the home, shuts the doors, and allows her then to tie herself into a food closet. Impenetrable! Of course, he turns his back and she stabs him. Doesn't he still have super hearing? Again, probably for the best not to think about these things. You can distract yourself with Zachary Quinto's continued nuanced performance. I am really looking forward to seeing him as Spock.But let's back up to the beginning. The future Claire threatening Peter Petrelli with a gun. I'm sorry, did she really think that was going to work? No shit he stopped time. Was there any tension at all in that scene? Well, it did serve to finally motivate Peter to travel back in time (as if being chased down the street by faceless thugs who could not possibly have missed him turning into the building -- nevermind -- was not motivating enough), at least as far as the writing was concerned.

So, at least we get a kind-of cool moment where we find out Peter shot his own brother. Again, don't think about the time-travel problems that come into it -- that he could have, say, traveled two minutes BEFORE that and said, 'hey, guess what, this is a bad idea!' Without that, we wouldn't have an all-new direction for the show.

Of course, Matt uses his detective skills and mind-reading to figure out that future Peter is behind it all, which gets him a one-way ticket to Africa. The writers' way of saying we don't have anything for you to do yet, so we're going to stick you in the desert and have you wander around for a while until a local comes up who knows you and helps you out.The more interesting twist of a recurring character is Peter's mother, who appears to be a lot more powerful, and insightful, than we thought.With Sylar's eradication of Elle's dad, she's now the number 1 in the corporation, and going to make a few changes, which in future episodes apparently have a lot to do with Jack Coleman's Mr. Noah Bennett, by far the most realistic character on the show.

Update: Maya is still not dead. Sigh.

See, when he gets released by Elle, and confronted with Sylar, he does not hesitate for a second to put 17 bullets in him. And when Sylar is knocked unconscious by a feedback-frenzy from Elle (kudos for that), he drags him right back in the cell. Jack don't play.

But something is playing in Nathan's mind after his near-death experience. Or should I say death experience, resurrected by Linderman? Or was he, since Nathan is the only one who can see him? I'm pretty sure that Nathan's 'noble' intentions aren't going to remain pure for long. He's pretty gullible, or, what is the word, hmm... STUPID for thinking that Nikki (or whomever she is) showing up and offering him a Senate job with Linderman backing him is going anywhere but down.Speaking of stupid, at least Hiro's father knows his son is stupid. Even Ando knows. Granted, this leads to a good chuckle as the second DVD of Hiro's father says "I told you not to," but couldn't Hiro can it with the destiny crap? His own destiny/adventure in this series is caused by his own ridiculousness. At least he is paired against a chick whose super-speed is a good counter to his power. I am rooting for Ando to smack Hiro around, like the future Ando does (with cool lightning).So, at the end of the two-parter, what crises do we have:
  • Present-Peter is trapped in the body of a criminal empowered -- how the heck did that happen? Yeah, I know Future-Peter stuck him in the body, but what happened to his other body?
  • Mohinder grew scales, reassessing validity of plan to inject himself with strange drug
  • Maya still alive and whining
  • Matt on spirit quest
  • Nikki/Tracy banging Senators
  • Mr. Bennett about to team up with... please it will be Sylar, which I have to say is interesting to say the least
  • Claire getting a visit from mom.
  • Hiro and Ando go hunting for the formula from super-speed chick.
Did I leave anything out? It sure seemed like a lot to crush in to two hours. I get that you have to win back an audience, but trying to cram a lot of cool thing in isn't the way to do it. Wait, don't think about it, just watch.

I miss Battlestar.

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